Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 70

1 Thursday, 25 January 2001

2 [Status Conference]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 10.00 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Let the Registrar call the case.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honour. Case number

8 IT-00-39-PT, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.

9 JUDGE MAY: I'll hear the appearances.

10 MS. HOLLIS: Good morning, Your Honour. Brenda Hollis and Nicola

11 Piacente appear for the Prosecution, assisted by Carmela Annink-Javier.

12 MR. NESKOVIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise, but first and

13 foremost, I can't find the right channel. I can't hear the

14 interpretation.

15 Good morning. I'm Goran Neskovic, and I'm Defence counsel for

16 Mr. Krajisnik.

17 Could you please help me, because there seems to be something

18 wrong with the channel.

19 Very well. Thank you.

20 JUDGE MAY: This is the postponed Status Conference in this case.

21 The various matters which I have in mind to discuss are these: First of

22 all, dealing with the application for joinder of this case with the case

23 of Biljana Plavsic, a timetable for that; to discuss then pre-trial

24 preparations; the status and condition of the accused; and any other

25 matters which may arise, including fixing a date for the next Status

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1 Conference.

2 The Trial Chamber has received the Prosecution application dated

3 the 23rd of January.

4 Mr. Neskovic, you will have 14 days to respond, of course, to that

5 motion, unless you want to give a response immediately.

6 MR. NESKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I haven't received any

7 papers concerning the application for joinder, and I do realise that the

8 deadline is 14 days for giving a response.

9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, no doubt a copy can be handed to counsel

10 today.

11 Have the Prosecution got a copy? The Court's got a copy.

12 MS. HOLLIS: Yes, Your Honour. Plus, Your Honour, it's our

13 understanding that there may be a copy of it already in Mr. Neskovic's

14 locker.

15 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

16 Well, Mr. Neskovic, no need to react to that for the moment.

17 There is the application, and you've got 14 days to respond to it.

18 This application having been made, the target date which I

19 mentioned at the last hearing cannot be met and must be vacated, at least

20 for the moment. The Trial Chamber will, of course, have to determine the

21 motion and determine whether these cases should be joined or not, but

22 pending that ruling, there can be no date fixed for any trial.

23 I also have in mind that there is one appeal outstanding in

24 relation to jurisdiction and that has yet to be resolved. When those

25 matters are resolved, then a further timetable could be set, but the

Page 72

1 target date will have to be vacated, as I say.

2 One matter I note from the Notice of Motion and that is that an

3 estimate appears for the Prosecution case of a joint trial, stating that

4 the complex cases, as indeed they would be, will require a lengthy trial,

5 very possibly two or more years for the entire trial. That, of course, I

6 understand, is an estimate and no more than a reference to a possibility,

7 but the length of trial of two years is unacceptable, and the Prosecution

8 must, of course, have that in mind when preparing for the trial.

9 Ms. Hollis, can you assist with the preparations as far as this

10 trial is concerned? On the last occasion when the case was before the

11 Court, there was talk of 78 witnesses having been identified.

12 As far as the witnesses are concerned, is this matter now in

13 hand?

14 MS. HOLLIS: Your Honour, we have since that time contacted all of

15 the confirmation witnesses to determine their availability. Most of those

16 witnesses have indicated that they will be available to testify. Also,

17 since that time, we have disclosed witness statements and documentary

18 evidence in relation to 29 of the 41 municipalities that are at issue.

19 Since the last Status Conference, we have disclosed to the Defence

20 approximately 14.000 pages of documents pertaining to both witness

21 information and hard copies of documentary evidence. In addition to that,

22 we have provided to the Defence approximately 25 CD-ROMs that would

23 contain about 85.000 pages of documentary evidence.

24 We have also, since that time, been progressing in the overall

25 searches that we told the Court about. It is estimated that by the end of

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1 June, we will have completed 80 to 82 per cent of the searches of the

2 total of 2.7 million pages. The remaining 18 to 20 per cent are not

3 searchable because of problems with the quality of the documents and also

4 problems we have because of the B/C/S and Cyrillic. We're hoping to

5 overcome those problems so that eventually we'll be able to provide the

6 results of a 100 per cent search, but at this time, it appears by the end

7 of June we will have gone through 80 to 82 per cent of that 2.7 million.

8 And as I explained earlier, as the initial search is done and

9 documents are identified as potentially relevant given the broad search

10 criteria we provide, then a listing of those documents are submitted to

11 the trial team. The trial then goes through and makes selections based on

12 their potential use at trial as well as our obligations under Rule 68, and

13 then as we determine either we may use them or we believe they may fall

14 under Rule 68, those documents are then provided to the Defence. So when

15 I speak to you of the CD-ROMs, very often we're providing disclosure by

16 CD-ROM if it's a large document collection, hard copy if it is a smaller

17 collection and we have determined that it is relevant.

18 We understand that the disclosure to the Defence will be much

19 broader than what we use at trial. We certainly took heed to Your

20 Honours' words that we should use only the most relevant documents, but,

21 of course, in order to determine that, we have to review the documents

22 that are potentially relevant. So we are progressing on those fronts.

23 In regard to the international witnesses that I spoke to you about

24 the last time, to date we will have completed our interviews with 11 of 17

25 internationals who have been identified as potential witnesses. We have

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1 submitted a request for interview with the remaining six. However, we

2 have not yet received approval from the relevant authorities for those

3 interviews. So we continue to attempt to set up those six interviews.

4 JUDGE MAY: The 2.7 million documents are those which are

5 potentially relevant; is that right?

6 MS. HOLLIS: That's our total collection. Among those are

7 duplicates. Those are weeded out at the early stages. There is an

8 estimate that in our main database there's probably 1.7 million pages that

9 are potentially relevant, and in our database that has to do with seized

10 collections there's probably another 750.000 pages.

11 So as we go through the searches, the duplications are weeded

12 out. Those documents that clearly would have no relevance, for example,

13 if we're looking for Ministry of Defence and the document is identified by

14 Ministry of Defence and it turns out it's the Ministry of Defence for

15 Great Britain, then that is excluded at that time. So we're narrowing as

16 we go through our searches to get down to the pool that are potentially

17 relevant, and then those are broken out according to further categories we

18 have given the people. They come down to the team and we weed them out.

19 So at this point in time in this case, of those ones that are

20 potentially relevant, there is a final review rate of acceptance of about

21 24 to 30 per cent, and it is that amount that are sent down to the second

22 echelon of reviewers who look at those in the context of our case to

23 determine one, do they need to be disclosed under Rule 68; number two, are

24 they potentially relevant for the case; and then based on those

25 selections, the numbers are further reduced. So it's a funnel-type

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1 approach to the issue, getting smaller as we work through the levels of

2 review.

3 JUDGE MAY: What would the effect of a joinder be on this

4 process?

5 MS. HOLLIS: We have had in mind the possibility of the accused

6 Plavsic being here, as well as the fact that anything relevant to her

7 activities is probably relevant to Mr. Krajisnik. So the search has

8 encompassed both all along. So that would not prolong the search.

9 JUDGE MAY: As far as witnesses are concerned, are there many in

10 common?

11 MS. HOLLIS: Most of them will be in common, even at the

12 international level. With the international witnesses, what we call, in

13 general, the linkage witnesses, there may be some differences there

14 because it could be that some people have had contact with only one of the

15 two accused, but the great bulk of the witnesses in this case will be the

16 crime-base witnesses and those would all be the same.

17 JUDGE MAY: You must remind me what you mean by "linkage."

18 Linkage with what?

19 MS. HOLLIS: The witnesses who would establish why these

20 particular accused should be held guilty for the crimes that occurred in

21 Bosnia. So those could include the internationals that we're talking

22 about, policy witnesses, also witnesses who will explain the

23 responsibility and authority of the various organisations to which these

24 accused belonged and in which they participated, experts to explain some

25 of the issues, those types of witnesses.

Page 77

1 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. On the last occasion there was talk of

2 some meetings, and I gather there was some cooperation between the parties

3 on presenting this case. Is there any further news on that?

4 MS. HOLLIS: We did not have meetings prior to this Status

5 Conference, but we did have meetings prior to the other Status

6 Conferences. We have been able to cooperate in setting up, if you will, a

7 framework for cooperation.

8 Since the last Status Conference, we have submitted an additional

9 34 adjudicated facts to the Defence for them to consider. To date, we

10 have received no response from the Defence as to whether they would accept

11 any of the adjudicated facts submitted, nor have we received a response as

12 to which, if any, of the numbered parts of the indictment they might

13 stipulate to or agree to.

14 JUDGE MAY: No doubt this matter can be taken further in terms of

15 possible meetings. If not, it will have to be dealt with by the Trial

16 Chamber formally.

17 MS. HOLLIS: Yes, Your Honour. I'm confident that we can -- we

18 certainly can have additional meetings and discuss that. Perhaps the

19 Defence is waiting for additional disclosure before they decide upon the

20 adjudicated facts or the indictment, but we have worked well together, and

21 I have every reason to believe we will continue to do so.

22 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Are there any matters which the

23 Prosecution want to raise?

24 MS. HOLLIS: No, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Neskovic, you've heard what's been said.

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1 Obviously, in due course, you should respond to the invitation to admit

2 some adjudicated facts, and you should continue to meet with the

3 Prosecution in order to present, if possible, an agreed framework for the

4 trial.

5 You've heard what's been said about disclosure. Obviously there's

6 a large amount of material which is coming to you. As I said, the trial

7 cannot now take place in May, but it must take place as soon as possible

8 thereafter.

9 Is there anything you want to say about cooperation with the

10 Prosecution or indeed any other matters?

11 MR. NESKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as for admitting some

12 adjudicated facts and as for the indictment itself, the Defence is working

13 on this. Of course, there are quite a few problems involved because there

14 are a lot of documents and this is quite a burden for the Defence.

15 You heard that this is 2.7 million documents, as the Prosecutor

16 said. If we look at all these documents that are being served upon the

17 Defence, these are not only documents from the state government, from

18 regional governments, town authorities, et cetera, but it goes all the way

19 down to village guards. So in order to read all of this, at least, not to

20 mention analyse it all substantively, the Defence would need five to ten

21 attorneys. In this way, the Prosecutor has actually provided everything

22 that exists in terms of documents from 41 towns in Republika Srpska. So

23 these are -- so these are all the documents related to Republika Srpska.

24 However, if the Defence were to deal with all the documents of

25 this nature that were from the Muslim/Croat Federation, then that would be

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1 even more documents.

2 You know that additional hours have been granted for the Defence

3 and for its investigators in order to prepare properly. However, still we

4 have problems related to documentation and studying it, and of course we

5 have the constant problem of witnesses.

6 As for the application for a joinder, I'm not going to say

7 anything right now, but I think that Mr. Krajisnik and Ms. Biljana

8 Plavsic, even according to the indictment, had different positions after

9 all, because first the position of Ms. Biljana Plavsic will have to be

10 determined, and after that the position of Mr. Krajisnik, both causes --

11 consequences in relation to both, and then the Defence will work in

12 accordance with that.

13 I thank you.

14 JUDGE MAY: As far as your resources are concerned dealing with

15 these documents, you can make an application for a co-counsel, and

16 obviously you should consider that. You may have done. You may have made

17 the application. But clearly, more resources are going to be needed.

18 MR. NESKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, we have submitted

19 such a request and I expect that our team will finally have been

20 established by mid-February.

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If at any stage you find difficulty about coping

22 with the amount of work, then it's a matter you can raise with the Trial

23 Chamber. We don't want to be in the position either of the Defence not

24 being properly prepared - you must have the opportunity for that - but at

25 the same time, we don't want to be holding the trial up because of lack of

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1 preparation.

2 So keep, if you would, both those matters in mind in the coming

3 preparation period.

4 MR. NESKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE MAY: Are there any other matters which you want to raise,

6 Mr. Neskovic?

7 MR. NESKOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Thank you.

8 JUDGE MAY: Very well. It remains to deal with the status and

9 condition of the accused.

10 Before I do that, the next Status Conference in this case must

11 take place on or about the 25th of May. Now, it may be that before then

12 there will be other considerations which will mean that an additional

13 hearing will be necessary, but the 25th of May is the last possible date

14 for the next Status Conference.

15 Mr. Neskovic, is there anything that you want to raise or the

16 accused wants to raise in connection with the conditions of detention? If

17 there are, we'll go into closed session.

18 MR. NESKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have nothing, Your Honour. Maybe

19 perhaps Mr. Krajisnik, the accused.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have something to say if I'm

21 permitted to do so.

22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll go into closed session.

23 [Closed session]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

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23 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at

24 10.35 a.m.

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